Chez’s story

I, myself a British Citizen, my young family, along with my British parents have been planning to move back to the UK for well over 12 months. We were in the final stages of organizing our move for early next year when we have all been shocked to learn of a hastily passed bill which will now stop us being able to settle in the UK. I am a New Zealander with a British passport and have previously lived, worked and attended high school in the UK. My husband who I married in early 2008 and my young son are New Zealanders. My entire extended family and my Fathers only other living relative, his sister, are all in England.

I had already researched visa applications for my husband and under the old Married Settlement Visa requirements we were more than eligible. We have the sale of our home and my husband would work full time. I had been in talks with a Visa Specialist over here for the last 12 months and everything had seemed rather straight forward. I contacted them on the 10 th of July to tell them to get the ball rolling when I was informed that as of the 9 th of July instead of my husband being able to gain immediate Indefinite Right to Remain due to us being married for over 4 years, we would now need over 72,000 GBP in the bank or I, as his sponsor and with our young son, would need to be making over 22,000 GPB a year. If I am able to get a British Passport for my young son then the figures would be slightly less than this as he would not need to be under the sponsor scheme –but either way it’s a hefty price tag. The policy appears to be a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t consider a family’s real expenses. Wealth in things such as house equity are not even taken into consideration. I would imagine that the majority of households currently would not meet this requirement.

Putting a price on immigration prevents the poor from migrating, while not curtailing the movement of the wealthy. The system only takes into account the British Citizens income, this will clearly have a very differential impact on women. According to ‘The Migration Observatory’, 61 per cent of women will not qualify. Surely this is a case for the Court of Human Rights? It leaves no room for stay-at-home parents even if their non-British partner earns much more than the threshold.

If this legislation is intended to stop illegal marriages and prevent people using the welfare system and tax payers money it has been poorly thought out. All this does is isolate people like us who would have done nothing but paid our taxes and lived responsibly.

We are being caught in a crossfire and it is discriminatory. The new law is supposed to ‘’clamp down on bogus marriages and family visas, with migrants ending up on benefits from the taxpayer’’. This is in no way relevant to ourselves, or the many other people who are no doubt going to be affected.

New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth – clearly this means nothing these days!



2 Comments on “Chez’s story”

  1. Michael Bromley says:

    I, too, am a UK citizen (born here) who returned to the UK from 10 years in Australia in June to work. My son is also a UK citizen but my partner has Australian and US citizenship. I have a full-time permanent job with a salary well in excess of the financial requirement, plus sterling in bank accounts here and even more to be transferred from the sale of our house and cashing-in superannuation in Australia – hundreds of thousands of pounds, all up.

    But my wife was told that she could not apply to enter the UK, except as a temporary visitor, until I had been in employment for six months. Given that it takes another two months to issue a visa, that means eight months living in Australia alone and where we have sold up, or coming here temporarily and returning to Australia for two months. This is a direct consequence of the July changes.

    The situation is, frankly, bonkers. We have been married for nearly 40 years . My partner lived and worked in the UK between 1973 and 2002. I lived here from birth to 2002 (I am 64) and worked from 1965 to 2002. We both graduated from English universities. We paid tax, have National Insurance numbers, and neither of us has any history of claiming benefits, except for one six-week period in the 1980s when I was unemployed and received less than £200. Even more bizarre is how the six-month rule would work if we had private means and did not want to work, which could be the case as my pensions have kicked in if I wish to access them.

    As with Chez, our situation is totally irrelevant to the government’s supposed rationale for bringing in these changes. Indeed, quite the opposite. I was deliberately recruited internationally for my ‘expertise’ (such as it is).

    I know that those most affected negatively by these new crazy rules will be those who are worse off financially and in other ways – but perhaps it will do something to change the government’s mind when it realises that ‘nice’ middle-class people are being trapped by them, too, and the damage this will do to the international movement of labour. I work in higher education which is a global activity highly dependent on international recruitment.

  2. […] ← Lucy’s story Chez’s story […]

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